Feb 18 , 2019
Before you do this garage door spring repair yourself…
Lots of things can go wrong with a garage door, and most are easy to fix. But problems involving the garage door tension spring are more serious.
What does a garage door tension spring do?
The garage door tension springs provide lifting force for the heavy door and are under tremendous tension—get careless, and they can hurt you.
Can you repair a garage door tension spring yourself?
If you use the correct tools and follow our instructions, you can rebuild the entire torsion spring system in just a few hours, without any side trips to the ER. We won’t cover how to replace garage door extension spring systems in this story. But we’ll show you garage door spring replacement on the more common torsion springs, the kind that mount on a bar above the garage door.
Depending on where you live, doing this garage door spring replacement job yourself might save you $200 or more. Then again, it might save you less than $50. So before you spend several hours fixing your garage door, it’s a good idea to gather a few professional estimates for garage door spring replacement.
Start your garage door spring replacement project by getting a rough measurement of your springs (length and diameter). Then measure the width and height of your door. Make sure the quote includes the trip charge, parts and labor. Then ask for a price based on 7×19 lift cables and double-life springs. Those items will give you more years of service and should only add $65 to the price.
Figure A: Garage Door Lift System
To help lift a heavy garage door, the springs apply twisting force to the torsion tube. Drums at the ends of the tube act as reels, winding up the cables connected to the door. The most common problems with this system are broken springs or cables. Smaller doors often have just one spring.
Lock down the door
Clamp the door to the track
Clamp a locking pliers or a C-clamp to the track just above one of the rollers. This will prevent the door from shooting up and breaking your nose when you wind the new springs during an overhead garage door repair. Also yank the cord and unplug the garage door opener before you start any garage door spring repair.
Play it Super Safe When Doing Garage Door Spring Repair!
- NEVER use screwdrivers, pin punches or pliers handles to wind or unwind a torsion spring. Trust us: This is the best way to wind up in the hospital. Don’t even think about doing this job without a proper set of winding bars. You can buy a set of professional hardened-steel winding bars for about $25 from online suppliers. (Garagedoorpartsusa.com and stardoorparts.com are two online sources that sell winding bars, springs and other parts.) Professional winding bars work with 1/2-in. and 7/16-in. winding cones. If your winding cones have 1/2-in. openings, you can make your own winding bars by cutting a 36-in. length of 1/2-in.-diameter round bar stock in half (buy round bar stock from any hardware or home center). Just file a smooth bevel on each end so it slides into the winding cone holes easier.
- Position your ladder to the side of the spring ends so you’re never directly in front of the spring cones when they’re winding or unwinding.
- Keep the garage door opener disconnected from power at all times, and lock the door in the lowered position, especially when you’re winding the springs.
- Wear eye protection and leather gloves throughout the garage door spring replacement project.
- Step off the ladder and move it off to the side before unclamping the door and testing the balance. Never test a door while you’re standing on the ladder.